I Totally Got in a Fight
Confidence is great. Not letting people push you around is good too. Beer gives you a boost in both these areas. The problem arises if you're already the type of person who doesn't like people trying to get you to do something that you don't want to do. If the person who is trying to get you to do something is drinking too? Well, sometimes that can lead to a disagreement, and since there's already beer involved, fighting isn't far behind.
I was at a party this weekend for a friend of mine. The party's host had some of his other friends over as well, mainly celebrating that he had the house to himself for a few days. So this small house was filled with me and my friends as well as people I didn't know, most of whom were high school aged. Early on, I had lent a deck of playing cards out to one of the kids there to play poker or gin with. The cards didn't get returned to me so I looked for them and asked around a few times but couldn't find them. Late in the evening, the kid who had borrowed the cards from me came to ask for the other deck I had since he couldn't find the first deck. I refused, telling him I'd already taken the cards to my car. He was very insistant and I kept refusing, eventually he swore on his honor that he would pay for any lost cards. When I still refused he said that he thought he should slap me for refusing to take his honor. This set the conditions I mentioned above rather nicely, and I told him that if he wanted to fight he should go ahead and do it. A few words later, the borrower struck me in the face and we began to fight..
It may have been the beer that led to it. It may have been that I had just gotten back driving home from Las Vegas and that I was in no mood to put up with irresponsible high school kids. It may have been that if you get more than six high schoolers in a single area and add alcohol, fights break out. But whatever subconciously set the scene, I wanted nothing more than to beat this disrespectful little brat bloody until he wailed like a newborn. The fight was broken up before it got to that though, as all party fights are, but I managed to learn a few things anyway. This is an especially good thing, considering that the adrenaline, alcohol, and velocity of the whole situation have made the memory mainly a big smear in my head..
The first and most important thing that I learned is that if you're going to get drunk and get into a fight at a party, make sure that your girlfriend isn't there when you do it. It's best to have her show up after the fight is over. The advantage of this is two-fold. First, she misses the fight. She won't try to stop it, she won't see how you were acting leading up to the fight, and she won't see it if you happen to gouge someone's eye out. Second, when she shows up and you have marks on your face, a good girlfriend will take care of you and help you put ice on them. Of course, if you do this every week, I would expect her to say: "You've been fighting again haven't you? I'm leaving, don't call me until you sober up." Then again, if you're fighting every week, you shouldn't be learning anything about it from me. Hell, you may have even met your girlfriend DURING a fight..
The next thing that I learned is more of just an inference. Since I haven't been in a lot of fights, I don't have any good numbers to back up this theory. That said, I think it's a safe bet that most of the time, when someone mentions "taking it outside", the other person hears it as: "Let's bust up this room we're in right now, and maybe someone will go through a window and we'll keep fighting on the lawn." I don't imagine a lot of drunk people walk outside and make sure there's nothing to break around before they start trying to punch each other silly. Beer prohibits that sort of thinking rather easily. Besides, if you took the time to go outside, you might not want to fight by the time you got there. Where's the fun in that?.
Third, I learned depth perception. On my way home, I was using an ice pack on my eye to prevent swelling and a black eye. When I got back to my apartment, my girlfriend told me I was stopping late at most of the lights. Apparantly what they say about needing both eyes to effectively tell how far away something is, like a stoplight, is true. As far as the ice pack on the eye goes, I didn't get a black eye from the fight, but the next morning I rubbed an eye booger out which lead the already soft skin under my eye to bruise up real nice. So I did give someone a black eye, it just wasn't who I was fighting, and it wasn't during the fight itself..
Finally, if you wear glasses, the best time to get in a fight is right before you order new frames. My glasses flew off at some point that I don't recall. When someone asked me where they were, the thought sprang to mind that I would have new frames on Monday morning. I've lost my glasses swimming, I've lost them in people's couches, but losing your glasses in a fight is way better than both of those. Of course, if you're not getting new frames, try to keep track of them. This goes for mosh pits too, where glasses will be quickly stomped into the ground making them far less useful.
I learned other smaller lessons as well. Some good examples are: It's a good thing not to throw someone through a window at your friend's house. Getting hit in the face hurts more afterwards than right when it happens. For your friends, telling people that you got in a fight is a great conversation starter. For you, having people look at you is a good conversation starter.